You may well be frustrated at the amount of negative Muslim news in the past year. So, here’s 35 great things Muslims did in Britain in 2015.
1. A group of Muslim friends from east London travelled around Kendal dropping off brand new toys for Christmas!.The group, including a trustee of charity Off the Street, delivered presents to Sandylands Methodist Church, Westmorland Shopping Centre, Kendal Parish Church, Holy Trinity & St George Church, St George’s Church and Lancaster Hospital Children’s Ward. Zainul Patel, who organised the 350-mile trip, said: “It’s the first time we’ve done anything like this. We have kids of our own, and we thought some flooded families might need toys if theirs had been damaged just before Christmas.”
2. Call to Duty volunteers deliver aid to refugees on Greek and Macedonia Border. It was the second time the group had aimed to help refugees. Earlier in the summer the team were pictured on the beaches assisting families as they reached land.
3. A group of Muslim volunteers banded together on Christmas day to feed Bristol's homeless. The action group, called Muslims for Bristol, cooked hot meals and distributed them around various points of the city. Some 100 boxes of hot food were handed out to charities around St Paul's.
4. Boxer Amir Khan led a group of volunteers to give ‘morale and practical support’ to the victims of the devastating flooding in Carlisle. His Amir Khan Foundation has continued to actively support a range of worthwhile causes breaking down barriers between communities.
5. A team of 30 runners completed the Coventry Half Marathon and helped raise £10,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust which helps young cancer patients. The team was led by Haroon Mota who works as a Youth Support Coordinator on the Teenage Cancer Trust ward at University College Hospital in London.
6.Members of the Al-Imdaad Foundation were one of the first helping out with the floods in Cumbria and pictures of them helping victims went viral. Muslim groups delivered £10,000 in donations and delivered it to victims of the Cumbrian Floods.
7. A Preston mosque collected blankets, bedding duvets, toiletries, baby food and nappies, hot water bottles, batteries, torches and foodfor victims of the Cumbrian Floods.
8. A London-based youth charity launched an online campaign in a bid to stop young Muslims joining the Islamic State terror cult reported the Evening Standard. The Active Change Foundation has created the hashtag #MessageToISIS called on the millions around the world who despise what IS has been doing to join the campaign. ACF had global success with its previous campaign last year when #NotInMyName went viral.
9. The United Against Extremism campaign which saw adverts placed on London’s iconic buses which highlighted "Islam's rejection of extremism and its emphasis on peace".
10. Nadiya Jamir Hussain was more than just a talented baker. The 30-year won the hearts of the British public this year by winning the Great British Bake-Off. She said, “Originally, I was a bit nervous that people would look at me, a Muslim in a headscarf, and wonder if I could bake. But I hope that week by week people have realised that I can bake – and just because I’m not a stereotypical British person, it doesn’t mean that I am not into bunting, cake and tea.”
11. A generous couple cooked a festive feast for almost 100 homeless and vulnerable people at a Rochdale church reports the MEN. The event was organised by Ahmed Nadim, his wife Hamila and other family members for the second time running at St Chad’s Church, on Sparrow Hill. The Nadim family drafted in a chef to help cook the lunch and also used top quality cutlery so guests could enjoy a silver service.
12. Essex-born Hussain Manawer beat off stiff competition to win a competition to send him into space. It will make him the first British Muslim to travel beyond the Earth's atmosphere.
13. Aberdeen Muslims, a community organisation entered into partnership with local homelessness charity Aberdeen Cyrenians to raise £5,000 for those sleeping rough this winter. Sumon Hoque said, “Charity is irrelevant of a person’s faith or background – if a person needs help, it is a Muslim’s duty to help them, that is one of the Pillars of Islam.
14. Muslim Aid hosted their annual Ramadan iftaar, as part of a community cohesion feeding the needy programme in association with the Salvation Army. The event acknowledged 150 years of The Salvation Army in Tower Hamlets. The Salvation Army was founded by pioneers William and Catherine Booth in the East End of London in 1865 in response to the homeless people sleeping on the banks of the Thames. They evengot a visit from Russell Brand.
15.Representatives from four mosques visited Bolton Hospice to present them with close to £4,000. The cheque for £3927.16 was a result of collections held during Ramadan.
16. These are the stars of Brilliant Bolton (main picture above) — giving up their time to feed and water young and old in the town. Dozens of volunteers are this week making free packed lunches to feed youngsters during the school holidays When 18,000 homes had their water supply cut — these four young men took it upon themselves to deliver 1,500 bottles of water to elderly residents across the borough.
17. An 'Experiencing Ramadan' day aimed to bring communities together. Women’s group, Sisters4Sisters hosted a special iftaar for thirty non-Muslims who were fasting as part of the initiative. Among the guest speakers on the night was Preston MP Mark Hendrick.
18. The Walsall branch of As Suffa – a homeless outreach charity – provided around 40 meals per day for 30 days in a row. The volunteers generously dished out the food whilst observing Ramadan.
19. Islamic Relief’s #Cakes4Syria campaign raised funds for the charity’s work overseas in Syri. The #Cakes4Syria campaign began life in 2011 when a group of young Muslims from Bradford decided that they could no longer stand by and watch as the people of Syria continued to suffer. Since 2011 the campaign has expanded nationwide and gone from strength to strength. It now employs over 1,000 volunteers, delivers to more than 1,000 UK postcodes, and generates over 1 million social media interactions.
20. A Muslim schoolgirl's speech about Islamophobia which was inspired by her seven-year-old sister being blamed for the Paris atrocities has been viewed by thousands of people online. Isra Mohammed, 15, wrote the five-minute assembly which she has delivered to all 1,900 pupils at Kenton School, Newcastle, plus the 340 staff, explaining how her religion is one of peace.
21. A group of 25 young people reached new heights in their fundraising efforts by hiking across the Wetterstein Mountains in the Bavarian Alps for charity
22. Volunteers and charity workers from across the North West were inspired to drive to France to help refugees. A number of charity workers went across the channel and raised thousands in donations for the refugees. Among them were volunteers from the Greengate Trust, Sunni Muslim Youth and ‘Bite-Size’ Maddrasah of Oldham and the Drive4Justice Team from Blackburn.
23.A charity distributed hot food to neighbours and a near-by care home in an effort to spread good will during Ramadan. Volunteers from Bayt MuhammadAcademy, were out on the streets delivering warm food to their neighbours and a nursing home.
24.The second ‘Feeding the Needy’ event in Blackburn Town Centre was a way to reach out to others in their own community who may have fallen on hard times. The event provided hot meals, drinks, desserts donated by generous local businesses. Mo Congress who helped organise the event said, “After a huge success last year it was pleasing to see the community come together like this again.”
25. In January this year, members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) presented 45 cheques to UK based charities totalling £340,000 that they have raised through fund raising activities throughout last year. They were welcomed to Houses of Parliament by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, to mark their contribution to charity and volunteering in British society.
26. A Community Iftari at the Jabez Centre in Manchester attracted members of all faiths. The Manchester BME Network organised the free Iftar during the month of Ramadan. Vegetarian food was supplied by FareShare Greater Manchester and cooked by a group of volunteers.
27. Preston’s Asian community raised an amazing £38,000 for their local hospital in a matter of weeks. The money helped the Rosemere Cancer Foundation buy outright new life-saving equipment for the Royal Preston Hospital. In just over six weeks, eight city mosques raised £38,340.86, which included £5,000 donated by madrassah children and £8,000 from women in the community.
28.A mosque has donated over £4,000 towards the Coronary Care Unit of their local hospital. Members of the Masjid-e-Noor in Preston raised £4138,38 after a fundraising drive for the Royal Preston Hospital. And they invited worshipers from the mosque and representatives from the CCU Unit to the mosque for a special presentation.
29. A grandmother thanked her optician for saving her life after he spotted an abnormality in her eye. Tests later revealed Yvonne Quinn, 58, was suffering with eye cancer and she now wants to raise awareness of the importance of having eye tests - and thank optician Haroon Ahmed for his quick action.
30. A project to provide free curry and social care for the homeless was extended to Keighley. The Muslim Women's Council launched the scheme. The Curry Circle has been operating in Bradford since December, 2013, where it has already provided more than 2,000 meals to vulnerable people.
31. People across the Bradford rallied to help stricken refugees in Calais by sending out convoys of hope and aid from the city to the French port. Winter clothing, tents, blankets, toys and day-to-day hygiene products are among some of the donations that will be loaded up and delivered to those in desperate need over the next few days from well-wishers taking aid from the district.
32. A team of kind-hearted people from the Wycombe Islamic Society has raised more than £1,000 by climbing to the summit of Mount Snowdon. Led by Raja Akbar, WISE Youth Co-ordinator, the group donated the funds to Wycombe Homeless Connection after they were “inspired by their amazing work”. Mr Akbar said: “Charity is a very important pillar of the faith but a large proportion of it is directed overseas to support those in dire need.
33. Muslim residents of Waltham Forest joined forces with the Christian Kitchen charity. Over the holy month of Ramadan the charity which feeds dozens of homeless people was helped out by residents who were fasting. The new helpers brought food and drink to the site in Walthamstow and distributed them to people turning up for a hot meal.
34. A mosque donated food to people in need during Ramadan. Hendon Mosque and Islamic Centre, in Brent View Road, West Hendon, received £500 worth of rice, cakes, corn oil and other foodstuffs to help people during the Muslim holy month. The food was donated by shoppers at Tesco stores in Hendon and Colney Hatch, and was delivered to the mosque in a delivery van partly design by schoolchildren.
35. Volunteers from a Burnley mosque drove six vans of aid to Calais to help refugees stuck in appalling conditions in the French port. The group of 15 from the Markazi Jamia Ghausia mosque made the trip just five days after the idea was first mooted and were amazed by the support they received from the community.